At the European Council on migration, the Balkans and defence

At the European Council on migration, the Balkans and defence

I write after a long-anticipated European Council, particularly in Italy, because of sensitivity of the issues on the agenda – starting with migration. Migration is a historic phenomenon that no country can manage alone. We need a shared and consensual work, both inside and outside Europe’s borders. And this is what we do every day, not just on the European Council’s days (and nights). This week for instance I met again with Mali’s Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maïga (press release here). With the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, and the Director General of the International Organisation for Migration, William Swing, we have started to discuss a possible common initiative for disembarkation points on the Mediterranean shores, managed by the United Nations with European support. This is something we discussed at the European Council, and we will continue to work with Grandi and with the new IOM director Antonio Vitorino (here is the press release on my phone conversation with Grandi and Swing, here I congratulate Vitorino on his appointment). At the European Council we also discussed another pillar of the Union’s external action: the work to make our partners in the Balkans join the European Union. The 28 leaders have confirmed the decision to open negotiation in 2019 with Albania and the future Republic of North Macedonia – as it will be called. I wrote about it in these two op-eds (one on Albania, one on the future North Macedonia), and here is a conversation with journalists on the same topic. I also put on the table of the European Council the work we have done on European...

Arriving at the European Council (on defence and migration)

"I bring to the Council mainly two things. One is the work we have done on #EUDefence [..] this year has been impressive. [..] Then we'll have an important discussion on the external side of migration." @FedericaMog on arrival at #EUCO pic.twitter.com/F5IpdTz5EK — European External Action Service – EEAS 🇪🇺 (@eu_eeas) 28 giugno...